Nominate Your Company: Best Place to Work!

Madison Magazine and WISC-TV are offering a snap shot of the region’s Best Places to Work

Aug 27, 2009

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Social, cultural and demographic shifts in an increasingly urban city such as Madison are all happening faster than ever, which is why Madison Magazine and WISC-TV are offering a snap shot of the region’s Best Places to Work for the third time in five years. To conduct the study we tap into some of the most innovative survey research in the country, right here in our own back yard. Next Generation Consulting is a Madison-based research and consulting firm that helps cities, states, companies and nonprofits learn how to be a desirable place for the next generation to live, work and play. Founder Rebecca Ryan is an economist, futurist and author of Live First, Work Second: Getting Inside the Minds of the  Next Generation. And we can’t wait to work with her to discover the next generation of Best Places to Work. Click here to register!

Brennan Nardi: Why is NGC is excited to perform the survey?
Rebecca Ryan: Our firm, Next Generation Consulting, is based in Madison, so this is a great opportunity to offer our employee engagement research and advice to our peers in the region. We love meeting the people and leaders of great workplaces who, like us, call the Madison region home.

Brennan Nardi:  Why should companies participate in the Best Places to Work survey?
Rebecca Ryan: Did I mention the reception? ;) ... All kidding aside, this year, a lot of companies had to tighten their belts. Some Madison area employers had to lay people off, or ask employees to take furloughs (unpaid days off). Others had to decrease the benefits or perks they offer to employees, and nearly every company I know has had to talk with employees about cash flow, budgets and keeping costs down.

The bottom line: it’s been a tough year to be a “great workplace,” even for companies that really are great. So I’m concerned that a lot of HR professionals and executives will look at the “Best Places to Work” contest this year and think, “Not this year.  Maybe next time.” I completely understand their feelings, but one of the little-known facts about Madison Magazine’s BPTW survey is that there’s no downside to participating.  Yes, it’s true that the winners are published in Madison Magazine. But most organizations that participate DON’T win, and even they get great payback.

The Best Place to Work survey is based on a proven employee engagement framework that’s taken us eleven years to develop. It’s certainly not required, but participants can pay a nominal fee to receive their scores in the six dimensions of employee engagement we’ve developed: Trust, Management, Life-work balance, Rewards, Connection, and Development. These six dimensions are literally the levers that employers can toggle to achieve greater employee engagement and profitability. To give you a sense of what a value this is, most employers pay $40,000 or more for this kind of data and insight. Participants in Madison Magazine’s “Best Places to Work” survey get this same level of insight starting at $1,200.

In addition to the information you gain about your own workplace, you can also benchmark yourselves against other Madison-area participants. To my knowledge, there’s no other way to do this in Madison. So, every strategic HR professional or executive who cares about finding and keeping great talent should be reading this and thinking, “Competitive intelligence! Sign me up!”

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